Many wives attribute the enduring success of their marriages to the ‘man cave’: a sacred temple where males can enjoy televised sports, endless bouts of Xbox, Three Stooges marathons and enormous sandwiches—all in the privacy of their own space. No man cave is complete without the latest high-tech toys and gadgets. Here, three local experts tell us what’s new.
The Sound Room
ânº It’s football season, so you want to experience the game on a giant screen, with great sound and life-size, hi-def visuals. Prices are way down right now, so you can enjoy all the excitement of being there from the comfort of your man cave.
ânº The visual multi-sport simulator by Interactive Sports is like Wii on steroids. It allows you to play along with different sports, with computer-based environments and opponents and instant, accurate response times. The golf room is really popular: Five high-speed cameras calculate ball speed, spin and curve as you play. Plus, the training database saves the results of each session so you can evaluate your performance and develop your skill. The only complaint we get is that it’s too realistic: If you hit the ball into the woods, you actually hear the leaves rustle! It’s software-driven, so you can update it with new games. Also available are soccer, hockey, basketball, baseball and football games.
ânº Everyone is wearing glasses. Direct TV has several 3-D channels, and most major sports events are now being broadcast in 3-D. No man cave is complete without a 3-D system.
Daniels Audio/Video and NiteLites
ânº Outdoor living spaces are becoming the second family room. Everything is moving outside, including the man cave. It’s kind of counterintuitive: people think you’re not supposed to have electronics outdoors. But until a few years ago, you weren’t supposed to have an outdoor oven, either.
ânº Both Sun Vision and Magnavox make waterproof TVs appropriate for outdoors, and Sony makes one that can withstand heat and cold.
ânº Pop-up, 42-inch widescreen TVs, installed in countertops, are popular choices for outdoor man caves. A 50-inch flat screen with waterproof speakers works well over the firepit.
Fireplace and Grill Center
ânº Even men who act totally helpless in the kitchen love outdoor grilling. The Weber Genesis is our most popular free-standing grill—and it’s the No. 1 grill in the country. Here’s a scoop: Weber will soon come out with attachable accessory cabinets that will give consumers all the convenience of a built-in grill, without the expense.
ânº The Big Green Egg is a high-status item for outdoor smoking and slow-cooking, but Kamado Joe, a year-round charcoal grill and smoker, is every bit as good, if not better—and less expensive.
ânº Gas tiki torches add instant atmosphere to an outdoor man cave.
ânº Vent-free gas fireplaces are perfect for guys who prefer a basement man cave. American Hearth makes one of the best.